BURUJI KASHAMU ADDRESSES DRUG ALLEGATIONS
In previous interviews with ENCOMIUM Weekly over the years, Prince Buruji Kashamu addressed the drug allegations and extradition case against him…
‘I was detained in London for 4 years’
My brother, the noise did not start today. Has it drawn me back or silenced me in anyway? The answer is No. So, if it has not all these years, why should it now? A clear conscience fears no accusation. I have said time and again that I was mistakenly arrested in the place of my step brother who had some dealings with some Americans. Right from the point I was arrested in London (United Kingdom), I told them that I did not know anything about the allegation.
I told them that I have never been to the U.S and could not have had any American accomplice. They turned deaf ears and said I looked like the West African co-conspirator that the culprits talked about. For four years, I was in detention. The American government at whose instance I was arrested, called all manner of witnesses and tendered all documents at their disposal, both written and oral.
At the end of the extradition trial, the British courts, on two occasions and in two separate judgments, found that I was not the alleged “Alhaji” with whom those Americans had dealings. That was why I was finally released in 2003. It might also interest you to know that the court also found that the telephone line, the house and all that were used were not mine. In fact, while I was still in detention, they continued with their transactions transferring money from one source to the other.
Since I regained my freedom, I have been living my life without let or hindrance. It was not until I joined politics in 2009, that my political opponents began to use this as a weapon to blackmail me. And to make it sweet, they added their own salt and pepper. But I thank the almighty Allah who has continued to vindicate and promote me in spite of the machinations of the wicked. So, I do not think it will distract me in any way if it has not all these years.
‘It was a case of mistaken identity’ –KASHAMU
I was wrongly accused of, arrested, tried and discharged in respect of the offences charged in the same indictment alluded to by my adversaries. Indeed, my arrest, detention and trial were at the behest of the U.S authorities, which fully participated in the whole extradition proceedings.
If after a full trial on the basis of the same indictment, the British courts exonerated me (finding that it was a case of mistaken identity), one wonders which other indictment Chief Obasanjo is talking about.
Even the U.S. Court of Appeal, in its recent judgment in respect of an application I filed against the continued existence of this dead indictment, has said that it realised that the U.S. authorities has no chance of succeeding against me in any further extradition attempt because of the findings of the English Courts that I am not the person involved in the alleged offences, describing any such attempt as “whistling in the dark”.
‘I am not an indicted drug baron wanted in America’ –KASHAMU
First, it should be noted that as against his earlier assertion that I am “a wanted habitual criminal…for whom extradition has been requested by the US Government…” he has now described me “as an indicted drug baron wanted in America”. Neither statement is true. I am not a habitual criminal and I am not a drug baron. All available records including the exonerating judgments of the English courts and the reports of the Interpol investigation negate these lies.
The indubitable fact of history that Baba Obasanjo has not told the world is that it was during his first tenure as president that he and former Beninoise President, Matthew Kerekou directed the relevant security agencies to give truthful evidence that rebutted the false allegation that I was a habitual criminal or involved in any drug related crime.
That was why the Interpol in Benin Republic as well as the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Nigeria came to the London courts between 2000 and 2002, to give evidence during my incarceration and trial. Chief Obasanjo used me to prosecute his battle against former Governor Gbenga Daniel and to wrest the control of the PDP from Otunba Daniel in 2011. When it was time to field candidates for the 2011 general elections, Chief Obasanjo brought his stooge, Gen. Adetunji Olurin, and asked me to roll the party structure behind his anointed candidate.
With an affected air of moral rectitude, Chief Obasanjo talked about not being able to work with me because of his principles, honour and integrity. The obvious question on many minds is whether Chief Obasanjo has any justification to moralise and pontificate at all given his well-chronicled personal moral bankruptcy.
However, I would beg Nigerians to ask him where his “principles” were when he used to take me into the inner recesses of his abode? Where was his “honour” when he served me breakfast, lunch and dinner in his Hilltop mansion? Where was his “integrity” when he mounted the rostrum to sing my praises, praying for me as he did in May 2010, during a reception for the former Minister of Commerce and Industry, Senator Jubril Martins-Kuye?
I can go on and on!
Despite his pretensions, the reason I have become the target of Obasanjo’s wicked campaign of calumny and blackmail is because he perceives me as his obstacle to the control of the PDP structures in Ogun State and in the South West.